Spain: Consumer confidence inches up in May
June 3, 2011
The index of consumer confidence produced by the National Credit Institute (ICO, Instituto de Credito Oficial) inched up to 74.3 points in May from 73.2 points in April, marking the second consecutive month of gains in consumer confidence. As a result, consumer sentiment sits 9.2 points above the level observed in the same month the previous year. That said, despite the May increase, consumer confidence remains below the 100-point threshold that separates optimistic from pessimistic territory, which suggests that private consumption going forward will remain weak. The improvement in consumer sentiment was driven by better expectations, especially in employment, owing to the beginning of summer. However, the current situation sub-index deteriorated slightly amid worsening perceptions of the current national outlook. Rosier expectations across all three categories (general economic situation, households' situation and employment conditions) bode well for private consumption in the months to come.